Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Don’t Speak from Katy Regnery (aka My Person) in exchange for an honest review.
In this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid, a fisherman’s daughter from an Outer Banks island untouched by time, meets the son of North Carolina’s governor at a fancy party where she’s working. Laire, who wants so much more from life than her little island can offer, is swept away by wealthy, sophisticated Erik, who is, in turn, entranced by her naiveté and charm. The two spend a whirlwind summer together that ends on the knife-point of heartbreak and forces them to go their separate ways.
Years later, when fate leads them back to one another, they will discover the terrifying depth of the secrets they kept from each other, and learn that shattered hearts can only be healed by a love that willfully refuses to die.
“Stay still or I’ll stick you again!”
With three straight pins held between her lips, the words came out garbled, but Laire’s older sister Kyrstin understood her meaning and stopped wiggling.
“You’re so nasty when you’re workin’.”
In public, he was her secret admirer. In private, he was her passion…
Two different people. Two different worlds. One set of rules.
Katy Regnery. Katy FREAKING Regnery! Wow.
In early February, Katy sent Nom de Plume an early galley copy of Don't Speak. Since this beauty isn’t released until Feb 27th, you all asked me to write a very thorough summary and review… LOLZ cheaters
This is absolutely one of the best books I've read and I will cherish it forever. I was so taken aback when I finished that I sat and stared at my ceiling trying to grasp my thoughts and emotions; bear with me as I try to explain the inexplicable.
Don't Speak is so beautifully written I felt as though the words were my own. I cried endlessly, hopelessly, and pathetically as Laire and Erik's love story plunged into an abyss of lies. Oh, and not just one lie. LIES (plural). There are lies after lies, and deceit stemming from other people's lies. The characters dug themselves into the deepest hole, I was convinced this would be the first sad ending ever written by Katy Regnery. Leave it to Katy to make you feel like a lifeless teddy bear getting the stuffings plucked out of you. Little. By. Little.
Don't Speak is a story about a fisherman's daughter, Laire, who lives on the small Corey Island. She has big dreams, but the one thing holding her back is her family (specifically her father and his opinion of her). Have you ever given up your own happiness to make someone else happy? Oh yes. We've all been there...
Laire, our sweet naïve girl, eventually meets Erik while delivering seafood to the Governor’s mansion (Erik being the Governor’s son). Start the hot pajama party because they're lusting for each other!!
Darlin’, I come here every night to be near you. I live for the sunset like a vampire, because that’s when my heart stops beatin’ each day, when I grab the keys to the car or boat and race over here to be with you. It makes me crazy all day to be away from you because I want more. I want to talk for hours and kiss you and find out what makes you-
Lairerik’s relationship blossoms… In secret. (Lie #1) Laire does not want her father knowing she's interested in an "outsider," and eventually Erik lies to his family to protect Laire from their posh scrutiny. (Lie #2).
In Laire's mind, confronting her father about accepting a job off of Corey Island is the first step to "freedom." (You can do it girl!) However, her older sister practically throws her under the bus and Laire plays along with it... now, to protect her sister, Laire lies to her father about her job off the island. Thanks, sis. (Lie #3... and #4?)
Erik tells Laire that one of his best friends, Van (i.e. Vanessa), is a male. (Lie #5)
Laire and Erik sneak around and everything seems just dandy, right? I mean, they haven't been caught. Yet.
Then there comes the first major conflict... and, no, I'm not going to say what it is even though you crazies sent me hate mail threatening to disown me if I didn't write spoilers. ( Ohyea?)
After said first major conflict, there is still a glimmer of hope! We're hanging on a thread here waiting for the two lovers to rekindle their twin flames! Erik believes his last chance of making up with Laire is at Thanksgiving. He hopes she will come see him during Thanksgiving dinner at the Governor's mansion where they can talk.... She never shows. (Lie #7, #8, #12, did I lose count?)
Now, the story begins.
Women were deceitful and two-faced, false and dishonest. They were executioners of hope, assassins of faith… they could be used, as he’d been used by Laire… but that would be the extent of their purpose to him from now on.
7 years later we find Erik and Laire in their new lives. One bitter. One victorious. Two different people. Two different worlds. All over again. But this second time, Erik and Laire finally learn how to speak.
Under the covers, Erik’s fingers found hers, threading them together and holding on tight. He wasn’t sleeping anymore; he was listening.
Friends. This book is so amazing. Two young and completely different people find an equilibrium. 7 years later, after transforming individually, they still manage to find an equilibrium. Erik and Laire set their rules, and they both conform. The characters are developed and insatiable, there is just the right balance of smut and class, and I'm pretty sure I went from being heartbroken, to having a fever, to heartbroken again within an hour. 🔱🦀
Katy Regnery, you are my person.
My whole life… is here… Wherever you are, I’m home. And whatever happens, we’ll handle it together. Our rules.